Shiva and the enchanted forest
Far far away across oceans of milk and honey, Shiva guards the enchanted forest. If you listen very carefully, you might just hear the haunting howl of the little husky calling to the moon. The trees breathe in and out, in and out to the rhythm of the earth’s beating heart. Their branches reach like waving arms in adoration of the light. Their roots drink the sweet nectar of the rain. All about are pairs of yellow eyes, creatures hiding in the undergrowth, while fantastic insects flutter high above.
Deep within the secret grove, the cowherd plays a plaintive melody upon his flute, calling the giddy gopis to come and dance with him. They sneak out of their homes, giggling and skipping, bringing garlands of marigolds and sweet frangipane, drawn to the blue boy like moths to a flame and calling, “Radhe, Radhe, your lord is waiting. Hurry, hurry, come dance with him!” They take her by the hand and lead her to a mossy bank beside a crystal pool where they bathe her feet and smooth her raven black hair with scented oils and adorn her skin with mehndi, place strands of jewels about her neck and tiny bells on her ankles which tinkle with each step.
And there in a clearing the ballet begins. The cowherd plays notes for hearts which are open, hearts which are broken, hearts which are lost and longing to come back home. Each voice is a song. Each step is a dance. The gopis and Krishna and Sri Radharani dance until dawn, safe in the forest while Shiva looks on.